Southern Hawker

Aeshna cyanea

The Southern Hawker or Blue Darner is a 70 millimetres long species of hawker dragonfly.

It is large, with a long body. It has green markings on the black bodies, and the male also has blue spots on the abdomen.

The Southern Hawker breeds in still or slow-flowing water, but will wander widely, and is often seen in gardens and open woodland. This is an inquisitive species and will approach people.

The adult eats various insects, caught on the wing. The nymphs feed on aquatic insects, tadpoles and small fish ambushed in the pond they frequent until they emerge as adults in July and August after three years’ development.
Southern hawker - Aeshna cyanea Southern blue hawker on Hydrangea fruits. I like these beauties. This one was kind enough to pose for a couple of photos. Aeshna cyaena,Aeshna cyanea,Aeshnidae,Animal,Animalia,Arthropoda,Dragonfly,Europe,Fall,Geotagged,Germany,Insect,Insecta,Mecklenburgische Seenplatte,Nature,Odonata,Southern Hawker,Southern blue hawker,Wildlife

Behavior

This is a large, brightly coloured Dragonfly. The males are often seen patrolling by a ponds edge or river, where they fight away intruders, crashing into rival males and spiralling through the air. The females are quite inconspicuous when they lay their eggs, but they sometimes give away their spot by clattering up from the reeds. If you look carefully you can sometimes find them ovipositing into some moss, reeds or rotten wood. The males are sometimes very curious and come flying up to you, allowing a close view.
Southern blue hawker male Southern blue hawker male in flight - Aeshna cyanea Aeshna cyanea,Aeshnidae,Animal,Animalia,Arthropoda,Bulgaria,Dendrarium Botanical Garden,Dragonfly,Europe,Fall,Geotagged,In flight,Insect,Insecta,Nature,Odonata,Southern Hawker,Southern blue hawker,Vitosha Mountain Nature Park

Reproduction

The eggs are laid by jabbing the abdomen into rotting vegetation or wood. The eggs hatch in the spring, after being laid in the previous summer or autumn. The larvae live on small tadpoles and invertebrates. They emerge after 2–3 years.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderOdonata
FamilyAeshnidae
GenusAeshna
SpeciesA. cyanea